Gone Lawn
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Gone Lawn 26
Autumn, 2017

New Works

Salena Casha

Portland on my mind


I want you to know I've imagined
you and I crossing Hawthorne Bridge
where the water scuds in Payne Grey

so I can level the surface of your eyes and say
I've never seen stillness and stitched peaks
more striking than this waterway

Until now.

I'd pull you like a skipping stone
down the concrete path that hems
sky to earth, our bodies
dressed in cadet hue

to better let this place digest us

& I will shout, Can't you feel my pulse
stagger in this city's heart?

I want to traipse you up deserted streets
of cocaine-stained benches and drink in
the absinthe of an aurora sky
from the space between our cupped palms
so I can say
that's the color I taste when you hold my hand.

I would carry you to its urban soul
made of pages & spines so worn
you can read the braille of raised ink

and say, See, there? my ghosts spin in these paginated rooms
where they finally came to rest the moment
your lips introduced themselves
to mine.

I want to sip in Pho & fill our bodies with sour gose
to rid us of our lesser selves until we are so full
of this place
We become it.

It becomes us, this city that grows beneath our feet,
its ink wrapping under our dermis like roots
To bind us, oak and linden,
until, I imagine, we whisper,

'I know this place better than I know myself.'



Salena Casha's work has appeared in over fifty publications. Her fiction has been included in Wigleaf's Top 50 Very Short Fictions and has been nominated for a pushcart prize. Her first three picture books are housed under the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing umbrella.